Title: A Game of Cards
Rating: NC-17. Warnings for creepiness from Kristoph and deception from both he and Phoenix which might push this into dub-con territory for some readers.
Characters/pairings: Kristoph/Phoenix, Kristoph/Apollo, Phoenix/Apollo, some residual Phoenix/Miles, some off-side Colias/Miles
Summary: Not long after his disbarment, Miles decides he can no longer deal with Phoenix's... situation, and heads overseas, leaving the former attorney to his new-found family life and his crippling loneliness and sense of misery. Over this time, Phoenix is meeting up with Kristoph, and what starts out as being an intense friendship full of unspoken innuendo turns sexual, though Kristoph has no desire for permanency. Phoenix, falling for his friend, does, and feels he'll do anything to secure a relationship with him.
Enter one of the sources of Kristoph's commitment issues: eighteen-year-old and recently out greenhorn, Apollo Justice whom Kristoph is drawn to for his simple naivete, his lack of issues and his innocence. Initially suspicious of Apollo, Phoenix wants him out of the picture and away from the object of his affection.
When Kristoph proposes a challenge-- "Which one of us can seduce Apollo Justice?"-- Phoenix is initially irritated but likes the idea of hacking off the third wheel. Though Kristoph proposes some rules-- he's not to seduce Apollo with any career-related promises, and Phoenix is not to reveal his identity as that of the fallen once-famous defense attorney. Neither of them are to reveal the nature of the competition to their target, nor are they to talk trash about the competition.
Initially the game starts out smoothly, and donning less formal attire and hiding his trademark hairstyle beneath a beanie, Phoenix goes about this challenge.
Everything gets uglier when he realises he's falling for the kid, and he's suddenly starting to detect things about Kristoph which suggest he's not quite the knight in white armour he once thought he was.
Please note: It's not all going to be up at once; my beta suggested doing a "split it in two parts" thing, which I'm going for, which makes me feel a bit like Quentin Tarantino without the talent, so it'll all happen. I have too many WIPs which I haven't completed... this one will not be joining the list.
Author's notes: First of all, I'd like to offer apologies to everyone on this. It's still not entirely completed, and for that I can only blame myself and my crazy work schedule and brain chemistry. I've had a wonderful team behind me, from withpractice_ff for whom I betaed and who betaed for me (and I'd encourage you to check out Last Fall, it's sheer brilliance and she was good at getting me to do something writing-related when my motivation to work on my own stuff was cactus); she was the genius who suggested posting A Game of Cards in two parts, ala Kill Bill which is something I'm eternally grateful for. Love ya, babe.
dreamwriteremmy has been my mixer for the project and her enthusiasm for both the fic and the characters has been inspiring and awesome; I love her headcanon and conversation. Thankyou m'dear.
Then there's sleepyartist, whose name made my jaw drop when I saw it on the signups page. Her art is spectacular and I've always loved her take on Kristoph/Phoenix; it's beautiful, it's sexy, and it's got this hint of something unnerving about it. When I saw her artwork this morning I was floored.
I'd also like to add that all these people had significant issues: much of the first draft of GAC was written when I was half-asleep, some of it after I'd had a few drinks, and much of it when I was not feeling the vibe. (And some of it while I was on a break at work or on public transport!) Consequently, it was a hideous mess, and these three people had that making life harder for them. In spite of this, they've all managed to... make shit into something beautiful.
Finally, muchos grazias to ourlonggoodbyes who both set this whole ball rolling, and who deserves some kind of fandom commendation medal for her work in this fandom. In addition to this, she's also been a great supporter and friend to me. I'm glad we have such a kickarse personality running this show.
Link to fic post: Here, I'm posting it chapter-by-chapter. It more than exceeds the word count required, and it's kind of massive, so I'm trying to put it up gradually rather than in one massive brain-vomit.
Link to art post: Here. Doesn't it look like a movie poster?
Link to mix post: Here. Please note: there are spoilers in the comments. This is gorgeous, though, and I love the way it goes in chronological order.
- [Round One] Fic: A Game of Cards